Box Containing Spectroscopic Glass Slides of Geminids

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2018.ast.51

Description:

This artifact consists of a small rectangular cardboard box, with a paper label, containing a number of glass slides. Each slide shows a spectroscopic image of narrow parallel lines. Some of the slides have been individually wrapped in pieces of lined paper.

Primary Materials: Cardboard, Glass, Paper

Markings:

On the box’s original label:

“BARNET PLATES.
PRESS PLATE
SPEED 1500
H. & D.”

“ELLIOT & SONS, LTD., BARNET, HERTS, ENGLAND”

“MADE IN ENGLAND
PRINTED IN ENGLAND
Sole U.S.A. Agents – Ralph Harris & Co., 30 Bromfield St., Boston, Mass.”

Written on the top of the box by hand in blue ink:
“5 Imperial Eclipse Ortho’s
Unloaded from Geminids 1933”

Dimensions (cm):

Box: Height = 2.5, Width = 11, Length = 13.5.

Function:

Box: This box originally held sensitive photographic plates suitable for short exposures.

Plates: The plates contain spectroscopic exposures apparently made of the Geminid meteor shower in 1933. These were likely taken by Peter M. Millman, an astronomer at the Dunlap Observatory from 1933-1940. He wrote an article describing his photographing of the 1933 Geminid shower in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 28, p.35: “The Geminid Meteors”. This article suggests no spectroscopic images depicting meteors were successfully made during the 1933 shower at the Dunlap Observatory.

Condition:

Good: The box is slightly scuffed, particularly on the corners, and is dirty in places, but is in good condition. The slides are in very good condition, although somewhat dusty.

Manufacturer:

Box: Elliot & Sons, Hertfordshire, England; Slides, Imperial Dry Plate Co., Cricklewood, London, England.

Date of Manufacture: c. 1930

Provenance:

These objects were likely moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill, Ontario in 2008, upon the sale of the observatory. It was stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.